When Coffee Tastes Like Hay…

Last week we had a roasting party at my friends Toby and Laurie’s house.
The first batch of 2008 Panama estate coffee was brewed in the french press, cups passed along…the ritual began – Laurie was the first to say what we were all thinking…”Smells like grass.” Other comments followed fast – “Tastes sorta grassy.” And “This would be better as a tea…” Oops.
There are two main reasons coffee might smell or taste like an alfalfa field. Here are the definitions that cover ‘grassy’ when used to describe coffee:
grassy: A odor taint giving the coffee beans a distinct herbal character similar to freshly mown alfalfa combined with the astringency of green grass. Created by the prominence of nitrogen compounds in the green beans while the cherries are maturing. Typical taste of unripe beans and of certain freshly harvested coffee batches, corresponding to the beginning of the harvest.

green: A taste taint giving the coffee brew an herbal character due to an incomplete development of the sugar carbon compounds in the roasting process. Results from insufficient heat during too short a period. A taste associated with that of a raw fresh vegetable leaf, often found in early new-crop coffees.

In the case of ths first batch, the roast was too light, 6 minutes in the Fresh Roast…definately an instance of being ‘green’.

We had great success with the next batch


One Comment

  • DB says:

    Been there, done that on the FreshRoast 8. Remember locking the Solis 166 on beans that hadn’t been roasted internally though appearance suggested roast was complete.


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